From Frisky to Foul: A Look at Feline Aggression (and How to Deal With It)

Taut whiskers. Pinned-back ears. Thrashing tail. Dilated pupils. Any of these signs of feline aggression are powerful warnings, but when combined with a fierce growl or hiss, an attack is imminent. 

There are no questions about a cat’s ability to defend themselves, but when they act out of character around their loved ones, it can be extremely worrisome. What’s behind feline aggression, and how should owners respond to it?

Big and Bad

Cats are experts at efficiently communicating using specific elements of body language. A close look at tail positioning can reveal their mental state. For instance, when they are scared or feel threatened, they will hold their tail close to the ground. Whipping it side to side may also be seen.

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